Which Themes Do Top Bloggers Use?

Today, I have been considering the benefits of using a premium theme for WordPress and, in my research, two particular themes stand out above all the others – the Thesis Theme and the Genesis Theme. Actually each of these are more than just a theme – they are both Frameworks.

As I understand things, a Framework is a kind of parent theme in which the major part of the coding is located. Individual child themes can then be easily developed for styling purposes. The advantage of this is when some coding needs to change, say for security reasons, the change can take place in the parent, and all the child themes can be safely updated without loss of styling.

There certainly does not appear to be much between the two frameworks. There is an excellent article comparing the Genesis and Thesis Frameworks here. However, I thought I’d do my own bit of research into what top bloggers are actually using. Before I show you my results, I have to say that this was not a very scientific study. I simply listed all the blogs I came across in a single day of browsing and then checked their Alexa Ranking and identified the theme they were using.

Many of these blogs came from Steven Aitchison’s list of personal development blogs – as that is the niche I am concerned with at my main site (White Dove Books).

Here are the findings …

Wordpress Themes

I sorted the results, by Alexa ranking and then selected the top twenty.

As you can see, quite a number of the bloggers I found are actually using the Thesis Theme. As I said, it was a not very scientific study. This could simply be because Thesis has been around longer, for example. It could also be that my sample is not truly representative of the whole of the blogosphere.

That said, the above is something I will be bearing in mind should I decide to change my theme. Actually, after reading about what these frameworks do, I feel convinced it is the right thing to do.

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5 thoughts on “Which Themes Do Top Bloggers Use?

  1. Kat Tierney

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

    Every time I have ever looked for a WordPress theme, what I’ve actually been looking for is a wordpress framework — I just didn’t have the vocabulary for it until now.

    Just doing a quick search for wordpress framework has already net me one great theme in 5 minutes (and a good price in my opinion) that I know I could use and would love… but of course I’m going to shop around ;P

  2. Valentine Belonwu

    Hi Will,

    When I started blogging about 2 years ago, I actually used free WordPress but when I launched my 2nd website I decided to use the Thesis theme which mostly other bloggers are using but just last week, I launched my 3rd blog and decided to use Theme-Junkie which I am still trying to tweak right now. So, in my opinion, it doesn’t matter which theme you’re using, once you are providing a good content your readers will still visit your site 🙂

    Thanks for the write up.

  3. Ian Whyte


    I find your analysis interesting but maybe a bit short as you rightly indicate. While not a blogger yet I do own both Thesis and Genesis and have used them on a few sites.

    Both take a bit of getting used to and require a level competence to configure. In many cases it is probably better to get some technical support if configuration is not your thing.

    An advantage for both of them is their range of child themes which gives you a ready made theme capability – once the framework is configured.

    But these come at a cost. The last one I checked was one for Genesis at about $79 USD for the framework and the single child.

    Finally with the recent upgrade to Thesis 2.0 there has been considerable discussion in some areas that it was a rushed release leaving a number of less than satisfied users.

  4. Iteire Apollos

    Hi Will, Genesis theme is the best to me because I use it for my blog. I have made some research about Thesis themes. I think both can be compared in terms of performance. I love both of them because of the framework which keeps your code clean while you keep your appearance. I think any blogger who is serious about blogging should consider using a Thesis or Genesis theme.

  5. Buddy

    Timely (at least by the time I read it, today), Will. I have the default 2021 theme but have been tooling around with the Arras WordPress theme (free). And even with that (what to speak of Genesis and Thesis) I don’t have enough time to figure it out. For me, blogging is all about writing, not screwing around with themes. Wish I could though…


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